Behind my home is an undeveloped area with lots of grasses and thistles (about 1000sqft). I have a bag of wildflowers that I would like to plant in the area, but I want to remove as many of the established plants as possible to give the wildflowers the best chance. What's the best way to blank slate an area? I wondered about covering the area with cardboard and burying it with soil then planting on top, but was unsure if that would block the wildflower roots from reaching deep enough. I don't need a perfect solution, I figure the area will eventually get repopulated with grasses, but I'm hoping for something relatively easy that will give the seeds a low competition environment.

2 Answers 2


Strim the area. Rake off the arisings. Wait for regrowth and then carefully spray with Roundup. Repeat if necessary and then cultivate prior to sowing. However, consider that what you have at the moment does actually consist of wild flowers and grasses native to where you live. The RHS have some informative articles on creating and managing wild flower meadows here and here. Note the quote in the first article:

If you don’t want to create a new meadow from scratch, you can instead convert your lawn or simply encourage more diversity of wild plants within a mown lawn – see How to transform an existing lawn, below, for these options.


Instead of using cardboard, try using thick paper. Rosin paper that is sold in hardware stores is what I use for projects like this. The paper is strong enough that it wont tear as you apply it, or walking on it but it will break down quick enough for the roots of the wildflower seeds to find the earth underneath.

What I do is cover the paper with mulch and a layer of compost underneath. spread the wildflower seeds on the mulch and make sure it gets watered if the rain is sparse.

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    Hi Colwyn, We have a problem. First the answer should be complete by itself without having to click on a link. Second, the link is to your website, which can be looked on as spam. The protocol is to acknowledge that in your post. Please read the help on self promotion. Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 2:06
  • Colwyn, I see you have been a registered user for quite a while now. Please familiarize yourself with the rules on how to not be a spammer. For now, I have removed the link to your website, feel free to reintroduce it, but stating clearly that you are linking to your website and explaining what the user that clicks on it can find there.
    – Stephie
    Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 11:51
  • @Stephie idle spammers aren't a rare thing, they create account, and wait for a while before using it to spam. Such a long time is indeed rare though, kudos for giving the benefit of the doubt. Personally I'd just flag and forget. Commented Dec 29, 2023 at 12:05
  • Sorry about that - I thought it would be useful to link to a post where I have already explained the process in more detail. My blog isn't for commercial gain, so its of no benefit to me if the link is there, just thought it would be useful.
    – Colwynn
    Commented Jan 2 at 23:30

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